ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s military has denied a role on part of its premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), in what it described as a defamation campaign launched against the two bigwigs of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
Reputed British newspaper the Daily Telegraph quoted unnamed senior PPP leaders as saying that the claims (about Khar and Bilawal) were part of a plot by the country’s “feared Inter-Service Intelligence agency to damage Rabbani Khar’s reputation because it blames her for her part in facilitating a UN investigation into thousands of missing people detained by the security forces.”
The newspaper mentions a PPP leader as having stated that the ISI expected the United Nations’ Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) to recommend senior army and intelligence officials be charged for their role and blame Khar for allowing the delegation into the country. “They are not happy with her. The UN mission received a cold reception but Hina was called in by the president to meet him and the army chief. She crossed some red line,” the politician told the Telegraph.
Denying the said report, the military termed the allegations against ISI as ‘absurd’, ‘baseless’ and ‘rubbish’. “The ISI has nothing to do with this defamation campaign and neither any problem exists between the foreign minister and the agency. It is handiwork of those who want to weaken the state by creating misunderstanding between various institutions. It is not something new because such people have been fabricating misleading and impish stories in the past as well,” the statement said while suggesting to the British daily to ‘behave more responsibly’.
“The newspaper needs to behave more responsibly and confirm veracity of information from respective entities before printing such malicious stories.”
The arrival of the experts from the WGEID had not gone well with Pakistan’s military that had refused meeting the UN delegation despite facing serious allegations regarding the involvement of military intelligence agencies in the abductions and killings of civilians in Balochistan and elsewhere.
Upon the conclusion of its visit here, the Working Group had categorically pointed to the involvement of the military intelligence agencies and Frontier Corps (FC) in picking and killing the civilians and recommended to the Pakistani government to take the culprits within these organisations to task.